I slept hard last night and snoozed for 15 minutes after my alarm rang at 5:30. We packed up and headed to the diner next to the motel, where they had free breakfast. The entire time I was thinking about how hot it would be today!
We left town around 7:30 for what we expected would be an easy 48 mile day. It was smooth sailing for the first few miles and suddenly the wind was upon us! We were heading south and it was a direct headwind for the rest of our 16-mile climb. The heat wasn't yet oppressive and I was feeling pretty good considering the conditions.
After about 15 miles Seth pulled over because he felt some wobbling on his rack. Come to find he lost another bolt from the rack, and it was a load bearing bolt fastened to the wheel hub. He zip tied it together at various angles and it still wobbled some but seemed to hold.
We finished the climb and headed downhill, still peddling in the wind. The terrain was beautiful cliffs and rocks but as the day grew hotter I wasn't able to appreciate it! We had plenty of water but it was all hot! Seth and I were ahead of Josh and George and we stopped to take a break at a picnic area with shade. As we approached the pull-out, I said to Seth, "If there are people here, we're asking them for cold water." The area was empty but just as we were debating whether to filter water from the creek, an RV pulled in! Seth struck up a conversation with the man and asked for cold water. He disappeared into the back and came out with two bottles! I guzzled mine down as it is impossible to sip cold water!
We kept peddling, refreshed from the cold drink, and the day got hotter still, up to 109!! We had a few short climbs that stole my energy and I was starting to feel extremely fatigued in the heat. We were heading to Hite Recreation Area and stopped a car to ask if the area was open (it had been rumored to be closed). The guy was actually a ranger and assured us that it was open and that we were only a few miles away!
We crossed the Colorado River and I saw Seth ahead of me at another RV. He had asked them for water and they delivered! I pulled in and chugged two bottles. We continued up the climb from the river, and just a few minutes later, the ranger came back in the other direction and handed us two bottles of cold water! I drank it so quickly that my stomach hurt.
We finally made it to the turn-off for the recreation area and coasted the mile down to the small grocery store. We bought Gatorade and candy bars and reveled in the air conditioning. The recreation area used to be a popular place for boating on Lake Powell, but the lake is so low now that the tourism is almost extinct! It's a very sad place and the visitor center is closed; there is supposedly a campground at the bottom but since the place is so deserted, we are going to camp in front of the visitor center! The employees at the store (the only people who live here) agreed to leave the restrooms unlocked, and even unlocked an outdoor refrigerator for us to keep our water in! We are planning to get up extremely early, probably 1 a.m., to beat the heat since tomorrow is going to be almost all uphill, 74 miles with no services! After this stretch through the desert I am ready for the higher altitude of Colorado!